Best known to television audiences for his portrayals of bar owner Holling Vincoeur (six seasons, Emmy nomination) on the hit series Northern Exposure, and Dr. Greene's (Anthony Edward's) father on E.R., John Cullum enjoys a long and distinguished career on stage and screen.  He arrived in New York over fifty years ago, venturing far from his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee with a dream of becoming a professional actor.   In the years since, he's never stopped working. 

Broadway audiences have relished Mr. Cullum's performances in such legendary shows as Camelot, Richard Burton's Hamlet (directed by Sir John Gielgud), On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (in which he introduced the now famous title song), Man of La Mancha, 1776, Shenandoah, On the Twentieth Century, Deathtrap, The Boys in Autumn (opposite George C. Scott), Aspects of Love (with Sarah Brightman), Show Boat, Urinetown, 110 in the Shade (opposite Audra McDonald), in the title role of Shakespeare's Cymbeline at Lincoln Center, and currently as the patriarch in August: Osage County.  Mr. Cullum has been honored with two Tony Awards -- for Shenandoah and On the Twentieth Century -- and was also nominated for his work in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Urinetown and 110 in the Shade.

This spring, Mr. Cullum starred with Ron Holgate and Jonathan Hogan in the Keen Company production of Heroes, while continuing to perform in August: Osage County.  (See the Interviews page for a link to the National Public Radio story about how he did both shows simultaneously.) 

Other notable, recent stage performances include the Roundabout Theatre's revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons, Mr. Cullum's UK debut in Miller's Mr. Peter's Connections, Wendy Wasserstein's Old Money,  the erotic chamber musical WilderRose's Dilemma by Neil Simon, a chilling portrait of Cardinal Bernard Law in Sin (A Cardinal Deposed)Candide at Lincoln Center,  the Encores production of PurlieThe Other Side (opposite Rosemary Harris), and The Conscientious Objector (as LBJ).   Mr. Cullum also found time to return to his alma mater to star in The Dresser, with son JD Cullum, at the University of Tennessee's Clarence Brown Theatre.

Mr. Cullum's films include: All the Way Home, Richard Burton's Hamlet, Hawaii, 1776, the television blockbuster The Day After, The Prodigal, Sweet Country (with Jane Alexander), Ricochet River (with Kate Hudson), Inherit the Wind (starring George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon), Held Up (starring Jamie Foxx) and the award-winning, two-character short film Blackwater Elegy (with Barry Corbin).  He also starred in and wrote the screenplay for the dark comedy The Secret Life of Algernon, which co-starred Charles Durning and Carrie Anne Moss.   He has recently portrayed a singing preacher in The Notorious Bettie Page and Robin Williams' father in The Night Listener, and has a role in the upcoming film All Good Things (to be released July 2009).

Mr. Cullum has been a regular on several television series, including One Life to Live, The Edge of Night, Buck James (starring Dennis Weaver), Northern Exposure and To Have and To Hold, and hosted A&E's anthology drama series Victorian Days.

Mr. Cullum's most recent television guest appearances include a recurring role as defense attorney -- now Judge -- Barry Moredock on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and two appearances as a southern tobacco executive on AMC's breakout hit, Mad Men.

He has lent his voice to three Ken Burns documentaries, Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip, The West and Unforgiveable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, and narrated audiobooks by a wide spectrum of authors including western writer Will James, humorist James Thurber, epic storyteller James Michener and the master of modern horror, Stephen King.  Most recently, Mr. Cullum narrated the DVD documentaries Secrets of Angels, Demons and Masons, Secrets of the Occult, and Secrets of the Soul. 

In 2007, Mr. Cullum was named to the Theater Hall of Fame. 

John and his wife, Emily Frankel (website- http://www.TheReadery.com and blog- http://emtalkery.blogspot.com/) have worked together on many projects.  Emily's first full length play, One Fine Morning in the Middle of the Night, with a cast of 22, was staged by John in the huge courtyard of the Mills Hotel in Greenwich Village.  John directed her play People In Show Biz Make Long Goodbyes off-Broadway, in which Emily made her New York  acting debut.  In Kings, they appeared together on Broadway in a program of dance and drama.  He directed her dance-drama Zinnia, which ran for 54 performances at the Colonnades Theatre.  Her adaptation of Cyrano, in which Cullum starred, was performed in major cities throughout the US and in Canada.  The Cullums produced, directed and performed in Emily's Shattering Panes in Seattle and it is a current and ongoing project.

 

 

 


  Bio by Rosanna Bencoach.  Permission to excerpt and reproduce is granted and encouraged.

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